Yesterday marked the official first day of Winter, and I'm happy to recognize that we are coping quite well. As opposed to many years in the past two decades when we have escaped South for the winter, we have come to the decision this year to stay put in Oregon. It's a decision that we came to gradually as our calendar continued to fill up with appointments and activities. Anxiety with long distance we would travel played a big part too. In the end it seemed the easiest and perhaps wisest to stay home. We are feeling it is working out for the best. The latest confirmation is the event of cataract surgery for me, which will keep us occupied into February.
It's been a record dry and warm fall in Oregon, so it's been easy for us to get in daily dog/bird walks, and occasional short trips in our camper van provide us with some sense of adventure. Birding continues to occupy center stage, and the pursuit of bird lists and photos brightens our days and truly is one of the keys to happiness and winter survival. One of the volunteer responsibilities I have is at the Salem Audubon Nature Reserve where this photo of a male Hairy Woodpecker was taken on Wednesday. Hairy Woodpeckers are year around residents here in the Willamette Valley, and today I am reflecting on how they survive winter. I strikes me that winter is not much of a problem for them. Their food supply is just a few pecks away, never covered entirely by snow, or washed away by floods, a safe pantry locked up and waiting. We're really not that different, our cupboards and shelves are stocked with food stuffs, and stores are close by. I think we will survive just fine.